www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Australia logo
(click on this image for satellite view)
Australia!

For my 50th birthday, in November '05, Tami and I drove over 5,800 km (3,600 miles) along the west and north coasts of Australia. Our plan was to cover about 10,000 km but Tami broke her leg so we came back to the States a bit early to finish up her surgeries. Nevertheless, it was an interesting road trip and these three web pages cover about 10 percent of the photos we took!

 

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my Australia Part Two page...
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for Tami's broken leg in Australia...

 

Australia is a huge, wonderful country that's nearly the size of our lower 48 states. They're very lucky in that they don't have our gigantic population problem so there's plenty of elbow room and real freedom for everyone. Other things they do well include universal health coverage, sales tax included in all advertised and posted pricing, no speed limits outback, and lots of personal security and safety!

A couple of negatives are their slow drift toward a narrowing distribution of wealth and their eagerness to join us in illegal wars and other military adventures. Also, like everywhere else on the planet, Australia's indigenous peoples received a thorough screwing but there's a very conscious effort underway to right those wrongs throughout the country...

 

(Click on any "Thumbnail" image for a larger view)

 

Australia Miscellanea:

Aussie Grown Kangaroo Steaks, Tami's ominous encounter with an Australian Chemist, Roger finds another mailbox, Australian Rice Bubbles look very familiar..., Space Center antenna, a bit of Colorado can be found everywhere!, lots of hot weather outback, flies and the police always seem to be following Roger. In the lower row is a casino where we lost money, wild animal poisons, and the ubiquitous signage of military the world over (always reminding the civilian population who is really in charge...)
Aussie Grown - November, 2005 Australia Chemist, Tami Wendell - November, 2005 Australian Mailbox, Roger Wendell - November, 2005 Australia Rice Bubbles - November, 2005 Australia Store - November, 2005
Australia Kangaroo Steaks - November, 2005 Colorado Store in Darwin, Australia - November, 2005 Australia Damned Hot Wa- November, 2005 Australian Flies on Roger Wendell - November, 2005 Australian Police Park Behind Roger Wendell - November, 2005
Australia Space Center Carnarvon - November, 2005 Darwin Sky City Casino 'Pokies,' Australia - November, 2005 Poison Fox Baits, Australia - November, 2005 Military Range Boundry, Australia - November, 2005 Lazar and Live Bomb Hazard, Australia - November, 2005

 

Australian Termite Mounds and Wide Open Spaces:

The picture of Roger, in the middle, was our first encounter with an Australian termite mound. At first we weren't sure what it was as there was no sign of insect activity and it was literally as hard as rock. After asking around, and seeing thousands more of these throughout the country, we learned that they were, indeed, termite mounds. Apparently each mound maintains an internal temperature of 120 degrees F with 100% humidity. The colony can last as long as 50 years and their earth-churning activity is similar to that of earthworms except that the climate is too hot and dry to support earthworm activity.
Australia Termite Mound and Tami Wendell - November, 2005 Australia Termite Mounds, Field of Dreams - November, 2005 Australia Termite Mound Five Inches High - November, 2005 Australia Termite Mounds - November, 2005
Australia Wide Open Spaces - November, 2005 Australia Wide Open Spaces - November, 2005 Australia Termite Mound Roger Wendell - November, 2005 Australia Termite Mounds, Twin Towers - November, 2005
Australia Wide Open Spaces - November, 2005 Australia Wide Open Spaces - November, 2005 Australia Wide Open Spaces - November, 2005 Australia Wide Open Spaces - November, 2005

 

Aboriginal Issues:

Okay, one of these pictures probably shouldn't have been taken (I'll let you, gentle reader, figure that one out...) but I felt it would help illustrate what's going on. It appears most of Australia's aboriginal peoples (there were over 350 different "clans," with over 200 distinct languages and dialects at the time the Europeans arrived) want to distance themselves from the European influence and invasion of their country - I can respect that so I did a pretty good job of not photographing people and individuals so as not to make them a spectacle on these pages...
Aboriginal Lands Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Ngurrdalingi Aboriginal Corporation - November, 2005 Caring for Ubirr - November, 2005 Aboriginal Lands Permit Required - November, 2005 Warmun Aboriginal Community - November, 2005
The Australian Government's Park Notes (dated 11/04) states that; "[Aboriginal] ...languages have extensive vocabularies and complex grammars. Today about one hundred languages are still spoken to some extent with fifty languages having a significant number of speakers." Parks Australia also goes on to say that these languages are as distinct and and different from each other as English and Bengali...

 

Kakadu National Park and Ancient Aboriginal Rock Art:

Kakadu is a World Heritage park that's located in Australia's Northern Territory. Apparently the land's original "owners," at Ubirr, have disappeared so another clan is now watching over the area and leasing the park to the federal government. Like most parks throughout Australia there was no entry fee! Kakadu is huge and has an especially impressive display of ancient rock art - some of the pieces dating nearly 20,000 years BP...
Australia World Heritage Area at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Tami at Australia's Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Tami and the Ranger Meeting Place at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Tami Hiking at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005
Tami Hiking at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australian Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia's Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005
Kakadu and Jabiru are Plastic Bag Free! - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005
Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005 Australia Rock Art at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005

 

Camping in Australia:

As I mentioned earlier, Australia is huge and wide-open so finding a campsite is no problem. Water, especially in the State of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, is a problem. So, Tami and I usually camped at a public site either in town or at a "Roadhouse" so as to have plenty of water...
Roger Builds the Tent in Australia - November, 2005 Australian Campsites - November, 2005 Wild Parrots Near our Tent in Australia - November, 2005 Modular Hotel in Australia - November, 2005 Modular Hotel Bathrooms in Australia - November, 2005

 

Bats, Kangaroos and Wallabies:

The second photo, looking up at the night sky through a hole in the trees, revealed hundreds of bats flying away from their roosts for the evening. It was a wild scene that we barely captured on camera as the bats, as seen here, came out as small "blurs" in the photo due to the open shutter...
Australia Fruit Bats Sowing the Seeds of Life - November, 2005 Australian Fruit Bats at Night - November, 2005 Bats Hanging in Australia - November, 2005 Kangaroo Jumping in Australia - November, 2005 Wallabies at Kakadu National Park - November, 2005

 

Box Jellyfish, Crocodile Danger, and the Arafura Sea:

If you look carefully, after clicking on the third "thumbnail," you'll see a "log-like" featured floating in the middle of the river. This is a wild crocodile that Tami was able to capture by camera!
Box Jellyfish Danger, Norther Territory, Australia - November, 2005 Northern Territory Crocodile Danger, Australia - November, 2005 Northern Territory Crocodile, Australia - November, 2005 Arafura Sea and Tami Wendell - November, 2005 Arafura Sea and Roger Wendell - November, 2005

 

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Dave Foreman The Pleistocene-Holocene Event:
Forty Thousand Years of Extinction

Dave Foreman in his book, Rewilding North America
(A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century), p. 36
"Humans arrived in Australia by forty thousand years ago."

"In Greater Australia, they found a fauna like no other on Earth. By 30,000 BP, however, most of the large mammals, birds, and reptiles were gone. Thirteen genera and at least thirty-eight species of large marsupials were lost forever. The only megafauna surviving in Australia today are four species of kangaroos in a single genus. Among the extinct giant marsupials were a lion-sized carnivore, three species of rhinolike grazers, half-ton wombats, large koalas, and very big kangaroos. Also lost as hunting and burning humans spread over Greater Australia were a 24-foot-long giant sibling to the Komodo dragon, a massive snake, a huge horned tortoise, and an ostrichlike bird."

 

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Midnight Oil Midnight Oil
Part of their, Beds Are Burning lyrics (see my Lyrics page for the rest!)

"Beds Are Burning" is a political song about giving native Australian lands back to the Pintupi, who were
among the very last people to come in from the desert. These 'last contact' people began moving from the
Gibson Desert to settlements and missions in the 1930s. More were forcibly moved during the 1950s and 1960s
to the Papunya settlement. In 1981 they left to return to their own country and established the Kintore community
which is nestled in the picturesque Kintore Ranges, surrounded by Mulga and Spinifex country.

The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent, now
To pay our share
Four wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore East to Yuendemu
The western desert lives and breathes
In forty five degrees
The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share
The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back
How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?
How can we dance when our earth is turning?
How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

 

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Links:

  1. Aconcagua (Argentina)
  2. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  3. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  4. Amazonia
  5. ABC the Australia Broadcasting Corporation
  6. Argentina and Brazil
  7. Australian Slang Dictionary
  8. Australia Two
  9. China
  10. CIA World Factbook on Australia
  11. Climbing
  12. Climbing Photos
  13. Ecuador
  14. France
  15. Hawaii
  1. Hiking
  2. India
  3. India Two
  4. Japan
  5. Mexico
  6. Pine Gap - The CIA's Australia satellite network ground station
  7. Russia
  8. San Francisco
  9. Silk Road
  10. Tami's Broken Leg - in Australia!
  11. The Australian - Australia's National Daily Newspaper
  12. Tibet
  13. Travel and Travel Two
  14. United Kingdom
  15. Werrong Lane - Sydney, Australia

 

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